The Pharisees.

Why Did The Pharisees Reject Jesus?

We are not loved by God because all our doctrines are correct or we're smarter, more righteous, or less mentally diseased than other people. This sort of thinking was the realm of the Pharisees who were preoccupied with pleasing God through adherence to religious tradition rather than God's love.

The Pharisees meant well. They were not evil. They simply didn't believe that love was more important than observance of laws. The message of Jesus was too simple for the Pharisees who believed that complicated is better. They didn't reject Jesus. They rejected the teachings of Jesus.

The Pharisees didn't want to give up their power and status as leaders in the community. They didn't want to humble themselves. They didn't want to be friends with Jesus because Jesus challenged their teachings. Jesus associated with everyone including sinners and tax collectors. The Pharisees were selective about who they associated with. They liked having a position of prominence and respect. They wanted to maintain their power and control over the people. They wanted people to be submissive and listen to them as if they spoke on God's behalf. They wanted people to believe they had the truth. They didn't want people to follow Jesus and have a direct relationship with God. The Pharisees were jealous of the attention Jesus was getting and they were afraid because the crowds enjoyed watching Jesus discredit their authority. They wanted to maintain religious control and keep people in subjection.